Timeliness is one of those things they teach us in school, but not really. There are penalties for being late after a certain age, and maybe someone will sit us down and explain in brief the importance of being on time. But there's no homework or essays or discussions about it. They just tell us, and some of us listen. In college, all of us at least once skip out on a professor who wasn't on time themselves. I got the edits of the novel back later than when I was initially told, but the editor was gracious about being late, and I reciprocated, because I've been late on at least a hundred occasions so far in my life. I got them today, and they came with a stipulation to have my feedback back to her in ten days (contractual stipulation).
It's been some time between passing this work along (ie, reading it over that last time) and now, so I can't be completely sure how long it would take to read through it, much less fine-tooth the thing with all sorts of dangling bits of someone else's commentary sticking out of various places. But I do know that this should be a very busy next ten days (having got the email in the morning while at the library doing research, I also did not drive home and begin working, but stayed out, had lunch at a bar, even stopped for a milkshake during a leisurely drive home). I can't really be sure what's come over me. Perhaps it's (over)confidence or some other strange malaise. I did give up on making plans for the weekend, but I don't exactly know what Microsoft track changes is (this was even mentioned earlier and I didn't take the initiative to figure out what it was and how it worked before I'd need to use it).
I guess this is one of those "do as we say..." moments. The dust may clear in just over a week with this phase of the process having been a breeze. I'm not ruling that out (I might even be banking on it). But for once I have a legitimate reason for my random hiatuses. For the next week at least, I will (should) be legitimately busy. Hurray?
And in no way could all of this be a way to mask the simple dread of reading the serious edits of something I've written, of finally getting to know what an editor of the profession thinks about the things that I do when I put ink to paper.
I'm not scared at all.